In the midst of crafting the Ongoing Art Gallery, I received a series of emails from graphic designer / artist SUBLIMINALPLUS aka s+. The Michigan-based artist emailed me with numerous attachments, flooding my inbox with album covers and design work, and politely ending the thread with "Sorry for the spam!" Thankfully for both of us, it wasn't spam by any means, as the prolific outpouring of artwork from the 16-year-old was both refreshing and entertaining. Rather than simply adding s+ to the Ongoing Art Gallery, I decided to email him a few questions and turn an art exhibit into a proper feature. Without further ado:
How has the year been treating you so far?
Honestly, the year has been treating me so great. I've gotten featured on a ton of art accounts and people seem to really love my work which is very astonishing to me because I have a hard time liking my own work. I make art for people to enjoy but to also have a sort of relation, it takes all of my emotion just for one piece of work. I still have my best work ahead of me and I think by the end of this year some of that will be portrayed.
For those unfamiliar, describe yourself in a couple sentences.
I'm a very relaxed person, very supportive and I like dope things. I don't speak much, I'm a very shy person with high social anxiety, I don't like conversing with people but art was an outlet I found to help express that.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2017?
For the rest of 2017 I plan on making prints and giving it away to the people who really enjoy my art, doing more commissions and just trying to hone my style and create something where people say to me "Wow, you made this?" and inspire others to do the same. I also plan on being less of a procrastinator and growing along with my collection of family in DZA and CD.
What's your ideal creative space?
I would say my ideal creative space would be an office all to myself working at the highest peak with an aerial view of the city and billboards and my own art surrounding me with huge speakers playing The 1975, Skizzy Mars, Floyd, Jay Jordyn and more of my favorite musicians that help me get through the late nights of creating. That's a dream soon to be tangible.
How long have you been involved in graphic design?
I have been involved in graphic design since November of 2015 and started to really take it serious in January - February of 2016. Huge thanks to my visual arts teacher back in my sophomore year (2015-2016) for getting me into it. He plays a big part in all of this. And the Jean Michel Basquiat documentary entitled The Radiant Child for getting me overflowed with excitement of art.
What were your art habits like as a child?
My art habits as a child were ridiculous, in a bad way [laughs]f. I had trouble writing on the right side of the paper let alone drawing even. I was the kid who gamed 24/7 and slept throughout the day and woke up to get straight back on the console. Although these habits still occur (but have gone down quite a bit as I get older and older) the artist in me however, came out of complete nowhere. Being only 16 currently and still growing and developing this inner maturation; I've learned to cope with this and still balance my child side and my evolving side.
What are some studio essentials?
Some essentials and materials that help me create throughout the days and nights are: my favorite songs on repeat, Adobe Photoshop CS6, After Effects CC, Adobe Illustrator, Macbook Air and Discord so I can talk to my friends because they help generate some of my ideas as well.
Have you had any crazy dreams lately?
Man, I've had a plethora of indescribable dreams in the past few days where it gets so weird that I wake up and I'm sweating nuclear missiles. I'm not going to go too much into detail about them though because the answer to this question would be far too long [laughs]. Maybe next time.
What's the last good album you listened to?
The last good album I've listened to from start to end and have had on repeat ever since the release is Skizzy Mars' Alone Together. That album came out April 8th of 2016 and I haven't stopped listening since. If it ever came to a point where I had to choose one musician to listen to forever it would be Skizzy Mars. Not only is his music catchy but he tells a story and I relate to just about all of the songs on that album. I've been a big fan of him since I was 12 so technically I've been growing alongside him and his sound for some time now. I've been honored to get the opportunity to hear some of his new sounds he's been working on and...I'm speechless.
Do you have any advice for artists working on their craft?
For the artists working on their craft and trying to perfect it, don't give in to the failure or rejection you may receive because it happens to all of us. Be inspired, watch documentaries and tutorials, ASK FOR HELP. If you can't find the help or don't know how to do something or find something then experiment. Keep grinding and you'll notice the shift in quality a year from now.
Any final words/thoughts/shout-outs?
I would like to give a shout-out to my family DZA, CD, my great friends that I talk to on a daily basis that have been here from the start, and some of my inspirations: Garret Hilliker, Ian, Amber Park, Father Nico, Fred Lozano, Lynch Cassidy, Shon Rosewood, and Poli.